Private schools versus public schools in SLO County

March 21, 2017

A third grade class at North County Christian School

All parents want the best for their children. But what are the pros and cons of a private versus public school education?

In San Luis Obispo County, there are three private schools that include elementary, junior high and high school: Mission Schools in San Luis Obispo, North County Christian School in Atascadero and Coastal Christian School in Pismo Beach. All three have a focus on character as well as education.

Two years ago, Cristin Powers decided it was worth the financial investment to give her children a private school education.

“I was initially impressed with the small class sizes and personal attention,” Powers said. “But now I find the focus on personal character to be very rewarding. Once every few months, a student from each class is awarded a certificate of recognition for acts of kindness, sharing, obedience or helpfulness.”

Private schools have higher graduation rates, more students headed to college, smaller class sizes and strict anti-bullying policies. In addition, students enjoy an unparalleled number of field trips and overnight excursions.

Public schools generally have better sports programs, more electives, and offer lunch programs and transportation to and from school. Students also have greater freedom in self-expression through dress and hairstyles.

Class size:

Local public schools average about 30 children per class.

Local private schools average about 15 students per class.

Graduation rates:

In local public schools, about 80 percent of students graduate from high school.

Last year, local private schools boasted a 100 percent high school graduation rate.

College bound:

Local public schools have a student population with an average of 50 to 60 percent  bound for college.

Local private schools have an average of 90 to 95 percent of students headed to college.


Local public schools are free.

Local private schools cost between $6,000 and $14,550. Nevertheless, most private schools have scholarships available.

On Saturday March 25, North County Christian School is hosting a free dinner banquet to inform area parents about the benefits of attending a small Christian school. To make a dinner reservation or for more information call (805) 466-4457 or register online.

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Has CCN digressed to infomercials to raise funds? This is not news it is recruitment.

“Local private schools have an average of 90 to 95 percent of students headed to college.”

Yea, probably because those who can afford to send their kids to private schools can afford college tuitions as well….

I would love to see the numbers correlated to those of color and minorities graduating from those same “private” religious boot camps! I bet it’s very, very, very low!

The article’s picture speaks volumes to me…

I’m sorry but it also seams to me that those “private schools” (and I use that term loosely) are taking the place of what parenting should do; all of those “accomplishments” they hand out certificates for should be taught at home and only embraced and enforced at school and not recognized as some sort of exemplary conduct or behavior.

I would also be very much interested to see what number of those going on to college are going to religious based universities vs traditional universities…

I would say that the minority children at NCCS represent approximately 10% of the student body. The minority students graduate at the same rate as non minority students and with at least equal if not higher honors. Most graduates have gone on to traditional universities. Keep in mind that high grades/SAT scores equate to college scholarships.

Likewise, students at NCCS are ahead of public schools by at least a year. This means that by the time students are seniors here, some are already completing college credits. We have had students who actually began college at a second year level. My neighbor was one of them.

In defense of these private schools, they do a better job of teaching moral values than public schools. In an ideal world, you would be right — such values should come from the parents. However, we don’t live in that world and have to rely on teachers and other adults to compensate for the lack of parenting ability for too great a part of our society.

I would have loved to send my children to private school. They offer a much better educational program. But alas after paying federal income tax, state income tax, property taxes, sales tax, social security tax, medicare tax and various other taxes I was not left with enough money to afford the tuition.

Private Christian Schools often do have scholarship funds to assist families who can’t pay the full tuition. Sometimes, it’s more affordable than you might think but you have to look into it to find out.

I have a couple of questions that maybe you can answer….

Does the child have to be “christian” to attend these schools? Do the parents have to subscribe to “christian beliefs” before they can apply for those scholarships?


The parents and child do have to be Christian to attend North County Christian School. Once they are accepted, they can apply for scholarship funding.

With no disrespect towards those that choose to send their kids to such a school, This is one reason why I don’t think that public funding should go to private schools. If they were open to all and subject to the same academic requirements (i.e. knowledge of scientific theories), I would consider limited vouchers an option. Yes, I know some of them do teach science without bias, but not all of them.

For those people wanting vouchers… I never had kids, so please support my efforts to obtain a refund for all the tax money I paid to support schools. Sounds fair to me.

What a fantastic idea, I have no kids so vouchers that I can reduce my property taxes or sell them like carbon credits to the breeders.

Sounds very fair to me, as long as tax dollars are not funding religious indoctrination.

I don’t like my tax dollars going to support massively wasteful military programs, unequal protection under the law or a wide variety of other things. Give me vouchers for those funds and we’ll talk about your refund for taxes spent supporting schools.

Our public school system is not perfect by any means and needs some improvement. But the idea that we should only pay to educate those who can afford private schooling is short-sighted at best and generally lacking in any real thought. Do you really think that leaving 20%-50% or more of the kids without sufficient financial resources without education is going to make for a better society down the road? Or do you just not give a damn about what happens to society as a whole in the future?

Anyone interested in the possibility of private school for their children is welcome to attend the the complimentary Celebration Dinner hosted by North County Christian School on Saturday night from 6-8:PM. Simply click the link in the advertisement to register and learn the details.

Child care will be available.

From the website:

“You are CORDIALLY INVITED to help celebrate the accomplishments of

North County Christian School over the last 41 years.

Hundreds of children educated so well that 90%+ of them attended the college of their choice.

Hundreds of children learning about God’s love and purpose for their lives.

Hundreds of children able to defend their faith, be successful in their career, and live with integrity to give glory to God.”

41 years and Hundreds of children educated so well that 90%+ of them attended the college of their choice. Wow hundreds receiving religious indoctrination.